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Brown Spider Monkey

Fact File

Continent: South America
Habitat: Subtropical and tropical forest.
Weight and Height: 8.5kg, 47cm
Diet: Herbivore (eat plants)
Gestation: 230 days
Number of Young: 1



  • Use a wide variety of calls to keep in contact with each other. These include whinnies, whoops, wails, screams and ‘ts chookis’.
  • Have excellent colour vision to enable them to find and pick ripe fruit.
  • Mating behaviour includes smell related activities: chest rubbing, pectoral gland sniffing, and scent marking by females.
  • They improve rainforest diversity by spreading seeds through their droppings.

Brown Spider Monkey

Animals — Mammals — Primates — Atelidae (Howler and prehensile tailed monkeys)

Brown spider monkeys are social monkeys known for having a prehensile tail that acts as a fifth limb. They live in social mixed gender groups of 3-22 that split into smaller groups for foraging, where they primarily search for ripe fruit.

They have a very slow rate of reproduction, with females only giving birth every 3-4 years in the wild. However, birth rate can be as high as every 1.5 years in captivity as they have constant food available and can breed year round. Interestingly, there is reduced aggression between males, which is thought to be due to the fact that females select their own mates. When the female is ready to reproduce she will mate with several males, perhaps to ensure the safety of her young since any of these males could be the father.

They are critically endangered and are one of the worlds most endangered primates, due to being hunted for food and habitat loss. Many populations do not occur in protected areas, making their conservation hard to manage. Due to their slow reproductive rate, they repopulate slowly.

Habitat: Subtropical and tropical lowlands. They are arboreal and can be found in evergreen and semi-deciduous forest. They prefer older forests with a full canopy.

Vital Statistics:
–Average weight: 8.5kg
–Average length: 47cm

Life Expectancy:
In the wild up to: 27 years
In captivity up to: 40 years

Diet: Eats a variety of fruit, and some leaves, flowers, seeds, bark, honey and decaying wood. They have sometimes been seen eating termites, caterpillars, soil and clay.

Distribution: Venezuela and Colombia